When Even Dilbert Is Making Fun Of The Absurdity Of The Patent System…

from the there's-a-problem dept

The general awfulness of the patent system seems to be reaching deeper and deeper into the mainstream these days. As a whole bunch of you sent in, even Scott Adams is mocking the patent system via a recent Dilbert strip:

When the idea of insanely broad patents and crazy legal battles even makes it to the funny pages, you might think it’s time for a fix. But, instead, it looks like Congress is going to pass the world’s weakest patent reform bill that will do nothing to fix the broken system, and a few things to make it worse.

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Comments on “When Even Dilbert Is Making Fun Of The Absurdity Of The Patent System…”

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Sneeje (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Ummmm… let’s just look at that statement: “any time Dilbert cartoons make fun of something, it needs to get fixed?”

I would really love for you to point out where Mike extrapolated his use of Dilbert to all ‘somethings’ and where he concluded the patent system needed to be fixed simply *because* it was in a Dilbert cartoon.

And, by the way, in the process of making your completely hyperbolic statement are you dismissing the role of cartoons in social and political commentary?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Cracker? Now that you’ve gone down the path of racial ephithet’s, can we really take you seriously?”

First, is cracker REALLY that big a deal? TAM’s a douche nozzel, but let’s not play up the politicaly correct angle.

Second, would it have been better if he’d said “cracka”? Just sayin’…..

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

That’s why you missed the point. The fact that Dilbert is making fun of it is irrelevant. He’s point that it’s so absurd that something that’s NOT mainstream has become mainstream.

Doh. Should I spell it?

And yes, he made fun of bloggers. And there are bad bloggers out there indeed. But now I AM the one missing the point just for the lulz.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Why? All you have done is made it possible for me to point to every one of your comments, and say you are being a douche just for the lulz. As a result, your comments just became meaningless.

Look around you, yes, you are in a corner, and yes, you are surrounded by a wet painted floor. Welcome to Doucheland, population you.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

So while not addressing the point about how bad the patent system is, you think that Congress should fix self important bloggers.

The easy fix is simply to stay away from their self important blogs. Why don’t you try it!

One of the wonderful things about them Intarweb tubes is that anyone can publish. Nobody has to listen.

It really must bother you that what Mike says resonates with so many people.

Nobody is making you stay here to suffer with self important bloggers. So try it. Take my advice. Nobody’s keeping you here. Go away.

But I know you won’t.

If you really cared, you would address the actual substance of the problems with the patent system.

Anonymous Coward says:

One can always takes extreme examples and declare something is broken beyond repair.

The far harder and more informative task is to direct discussions away from the extremes.

Of course, this would likely result in rather bland articles.

As for the proposed legislation itself, while there are a few provisions that may be useful in the administration of the USPTO, I have as yet to see any substantive provisions that I believe will materially improve the law over what is now in place.

First to File: A race to the USPTO that undercuts truly enabling disclosures.

Derivation Proceedings: Whoever manages this function will almost certainly sit at his/her desk with nothing to do.

Post Grant Review: An administrative nightmare that will be litigated for many, many years to come, with outcomes being unpredictable.


Raphael (profile) says:

Let’s just pass an ‘intellectual property tax’ that makes non-practicing entities (and only NPEs) pay 90% of any revenue from licensing or litigating (and only licensing or litigating) their patents to a fund promoting innovation. Maybe put a threshold on it, like, 90% of revenue above $X.

That way patents are still valuable to NPEs–they can appreciate and be sold–but it’s less tempting to use them to troll. Practicing entities can enforce their patents (and yes, that leaves some problems unsolved, but my feeling is that those are better addressed by antitrust law than patent law). Small inventors can get patents, license patents, and sell them. NPEs can make enough to cover the admin costs of licensing their portfolios, and by doing so respectfully can advertise to inventors who have patents to sell.

staff says:


You could look at Rorschach test and conclude it was lambasting the patent system. The comic makes no such statement. Once again you have proven your bias.

“patent reform”

Just because they call it ?reform? doesn?t mean it is.

The patent bill is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Who are the supporters of this bill working for??

Patent reform is a fraud on America. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and killing their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. The bill will make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. Yet small entities create the lion’s share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, ?startups aren?t everything when it comes to job growth. They?re the only thing.? This bill is a wholesale slaughter of US jobs. Those wishing to help in the fight to defeat this bill should contact us as below.

Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors.

Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/ for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

Rick Martin, Patent Attorney (profile) says:

Reply to Patently Absurd

Corporate Giants like IBM,Microsoft have spent the last 20 years destroying a “Non Absurd” patent system. First the Markman decision takes the jury away from claim construction and forces all cases to the CAFC for a REAL claim construction decision.This is like sending all traffic cases to ONE COURT to determine if the light was red or green. This is patently absurd. What is needed is regional patent courts and very few appeals. What is needed is mandatory triple damages against IBM and friends who steal from small Middle Class folks. The next main problem is the 30 month wait for the patent office to read their mail.I used to get issued patents in 18 months back in 1988.The fee diversion has killed Middle Class patent protection.The new Patent Reform worsens this delay by adding another challenge task to an underfunded patent office. More Delay, More Stealing. Goodbye Middle Class jobs.

burdlaw (profile) says:

Should there be software patents, a public legal debate

I noticed on another site that a legal debate entitled “Software Patents Encourage Innovation” will take place on Aug. 24 at noon at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA (Mountain View is where Google is headquartered) between Bob Zaidman (well known expert witness for plaintiffs in software patent enforcement litigation)arguing for software patents and Edward Lee (head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept. of UC Berkeley)arguing against software patents. I bet Masnick and his moronic Techdirt dittoheads are afraid to show up for fear of embarrassment.

indieThing (profile) says:

Re: Should there be software patents, a public legal debate

No, there shouldn’t. There that was easy enough !

As a programmer, I don’t know a single programmer who does (and I know hundreds). Funny how it always seems to be the lawyers and execs who want them.

And if they absoultely have to, they should be for an EXACT specification and implementation, not the vague, overbroad waffle that the patent trolls like to abuse.

step back says:

Should software patents be banned, a more public debate

Should software patents be banned?

No, they shouldn’t be.
There that was easy enough !

As a fly, and I don’t know a single other fly who does (and I know BILLIONS of them -we all hang out on the same long log of dog dung).

Funny how it always seems to be the follow-the-herd Dilbert programmers in their Dilbert cubicles who want property right valuations for the work they do to be zero or less. And their Catbird managers support that notion. Why is that?

Why is that? Well first, it is so because they don’t teach the art of rhetorical technique in C++ class. They don’t explain why it is irrational and illogical to engage in Appeal to Authority (i.e. me and all my hundreds, thousands of friends believe in Santa Clause and ergo He is real). They don’t teach in C++ class that just because saying something feels good (ha ha, I have hundreds of fly brained friends just like myself and you don’t, ha ha) that doesn’t make it good, or right, or logical.

So yes, you can hang out on this Me-n-Mike we-know-what-we-like blog log and make fun of lawyers or scientists or what have you and feel smug, especially when babbling out noises (i.e. patents, software, don’t tread on me) whose meanings you don’t truly understand and feel smug and proud of yourself for it. But none of that makes it logical, rational or right. Try not to think to deeply about that. Thinking is not your thang.

colony (profile) says:

(not so) funny

there just happens to be a direct correlation between the U.S.A.’s reliance on litigation rather than innovation and its fall from grace. the same happened with the Sumerian, Persian, Carthaginian, Roman, German and (sadly) the British empires. china’s on its third attempt at it and it’s already doomed because of the vested interests outweighing actual advancement. the only way through the barrier is separation of private companies and state just as there is a separation of church and state. all of them act as a conflict of interest to each other and therefore should be separated.

ddstark says:

Reply to Patently Absurd

Rick Martin AKA Ralph Martin He is on probation for misusing client funds. Google 10PDJ124 before hiring this crook. Legal name Ralph Martin. Also went bankrupt and was kicked out of offices at 385 Main Street though he still promotes this address on website. Though he shows several people on website he is a one man band. He admitted in court that he abused his son and the court took away visitation. Read what the attorney rating agency says about him at http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/80502-co-ralph-martin-1264077.html.

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